Well, once upon a time (last Thursday, to be exact), I was dozing off in my Global Studies class as my teacher talked about the ancient Hindu civilization. Then, we got a handout about chakras. Suddenly, I was wide awake. There were seven of them. And they each represented something. My mind immediately went to Harry Potter.
A little background on chakras: they are Indian symbols representing different points on the body.1 After looking at the description for each one, I realized that they can be used to represent the books. From this, I believe a conclusion can be gleaned for the final book. So let’s begin by trying to connect each chakra to its respective book.
1. Book 1–Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Chakra One: Earth, Physical identity, oriented to self-preservation. Located at the base of the spine, this chakra forms our foundation. It represents the element earth, and is therefore related to our survival instincts, and to our sense of grounding and connection to our bodies and the physical plane. Ideally this chakra brings us health, prosperity, security, and dynamic presence.
The first thing to notice here is that these chakras don’t represent the plot, but more the characters’– mainly the trio’s – attitudes and experiences. Firstly, this chakra relates “to our survival instincts” (quotations from the descriptions will be in italics to avoid confusion). Clearly, Harry begins to do some major surviving in this book (though he does a lot of it in every book). He survives the attack from Voldemort at Godric’s Hollow.2 Then, he, Ron, and Hermione survive Fluffy (giant three-headed dogs are pretty fatal when not lulled to sleep), and the Devil’s Snare (it would have choked them). Then Ron survives being clubbed by the chess queen. Harry and Hermione can also be said to survive that, but in a different way: they survive the chess match, with neither of them being taken.3
After that, Harry and Hermione survive Snape’s riddle.4 If they had guessed incorrectly, it could have been fatal (“Three of us are killers”). Then, Harry (barely) survives the whole ordeal with Quirrell/Voldemort (Quirrellmort), which is a miracle in itself.5 And who can forget the mountain troll that Harry, Ron, and Hermione survive only by luck; “You’re lucky you weren’t killed,” as Professor McGonagall puts it.6 After all, they manage to survive after only two months of magical education. From all of this, it’s very clear that there is a lot of surviving going on in Sorcerer’s Stone.
The next interesting thing to note, which I think is the best connection between this book and the first chakra, is that this chakra relates to “our sense of grounding and connection to our bodies and the physical plane.” This immediately connects to the Mirror of Erised.7 The Mirror of Erised shows us our heart’s desire, but it does not show us anything physical. To quote Dumbledore, “this mirror will give us neither knowledge nor truth.” 8 Harry learns not to dwell on dreams, but to focus on reality and the physical plane.
Lastly, this chakra “brings us […] prosperity, security.” This is true. This book brings Harry prosperity. The Dursleys never gave him any money. Now, he finds out that he has a vault full of wizard’s gold.9 (On a side note, this book also brought J.K. Rowling prosperity, but I believe that to be less relevant.) Harry also finally feels secure at Hogwarts, with his new friends. “It [Hogwarts] was the only place he had ever been happy….” 10
As you can see, there is a lot connecting the first chakra to Sorcerer’s Stone. And since these descriptions are probably not as detailed as some others, and I’m the only one making connections, there are probably many more connections that could be made.
2. Book 2–Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Chakra Two: Water, Emotional identity, oriented to self-gratification. The second chakra, located in the abdomen, lower back, and sexual organs, is related to the element water, and to emotions and sexuality. It connects us to others through feeling, desire, sensation, and movement. Ideally this chakra brings us fluidity and grace, depth of feeling, sexual fulfillment, and the ability to accept change.
Well, the first thing that popped out at me was that this chakra represents the water element. It has often been said that Slytherin House represents the element of water.11 Slytherin House is definitely one of the major topics of this book. This book is all about Slytherin: the heir of Slytherin, Slytherin’s Chamber, Slytherin’s monster, and so forth. It’s in this book that we find out that Lord Voldemort is the heir of Slytherin, which comes into play later on in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.12
The next thing to notice is “fluidity and grace.” What image comes to mind? A snake. That basilisk would definitely have to have fluidity and gracefulness to be able to travel in pipes. Not to mention that this is the book where Parseltongue – the ability to speak to snakes – comes into play.13 Also worth noting is the part about “movement.” The irony here is that this is the book when people get Petrified, including Hermione.14
The next connection is “emotions and sexuality […] feeling, desire.” Many of you are probably thinking that I got the wrong book. True, there is much more of that from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on. However, Chamber of Secrets is the book that first starts introducing sexuality. Think about it – were there any mentions at all in Sorcerer’s Stone of love, crushes, and things like that? No. In Chamber of Secrets, we have Lockhart, who introduces us to all those things, with Mrs. Weasley and Hermione.15 Also, we see Ginny’s crush on Harry.16 So Chamber of Secrets is the book that begins the sexuality.
3. Book 3–Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Chakra Three: Fire, Ego identity, oriented to self-definition. This chakra is known as the power chakra, located in the solar plexus. It rules our personal power, will, and autonomy, as well as our metabolism. When healthy, this chakra brings us energy, effectiveness, spontaneity, and non-dominating power.
This chakra actually seems to be much more about Hermione than about Harry or other characters. It’s all about power, and Hermione definitely shows that she has plenty in this book. “Personal power, will [...] spontaneity, and non-dominating power” all seem to apply to Hermione. She shows a lot of will and spontaneity by walking out on Professor Trelawney.17 Let’s be honest – how many of us expected that the first time we read the book (the shock probably wore off after about twenty rereads, but still)? I was definitely taken by surprise. Hermione always had the utmost respect for teachers (“Honestly, Hermione, you think all teachers are saints or something,” as Ron tells her in Sorcerer’s Stone18), and she made absolutely sure to be in every class she could be – and now she walks out of Divination, out of the blue? Spontaneity, indeed.
But this example pales in comparison with the event just before that: Hermione’s smacking Malfoy.19 This is actually the only scene the Prisoner of Azkaban movie did justice to (in my opinion, this movie was one of the greatest catastrophes of our time), and it’s a favorite scene of mine. If there were hints of Hermione’s growing lack of patience with Trelawney and Divination in general, this was completely out of the blue. We’ve seen Ron, Harry, or both of them attempt to attack Malfoy on numerous occasions, but never Hermione. She’s usually the one holding the two boys back. So this came as a total shock (the really good kind). This definitely illustrates Hermione’s spontaneity as well as power.
However, Hermione isn’t the only one making impressive displays of power in this book. Hermione says in Sorcerer’s Stone, “Harry—you’re a great wizard, you know.” 20 Prisoner of Azkaban is where we finally begin to see proof of that. Sure he’s an excellent flier, but that doesn’t count as wizardry. Sure he survived Quirrellmort, but that was due to his mother’s love, not his prowess as a wizard. His ability to speak Parseltongue is probably just a skill he got from Voldemort.21 He defeated the basilisk by strength, not wizarding skill.22 While not trying to discredit Harry in any way, because Merlin knows that boy’s been through a lot, we don’t really see any of his extraordinary wizarding talent until the third book. That’s when, at only thirteen years old, Harry manages to produce a corporeal Patronus. To quote Lupin, Hermione, and Madam Bones, “that’s very, very advanced magic.” 23 A Patronus to drive away a hundred Dementors; I doubt many adult wizards or witches could do that. In Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry starts showing his true power.
4. Book 4–Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Chakra Four: Air, Social identity, oriented to self-acceptance. This chakra is called the heart chakra and is the middle chakra in a system of seven. It is related to love and is the integrator of opposites in the psyche: mind and body, male and female, persona and shadow, ego and unity. A healthy fourth chakra allows us to love deeply, feel compassion, have a deep sense of peace and centeredness.
Well, to start off with, this is the chakra related to love. And indeed, this is the book when Ron’s and Hermione’s feelings for each other really start to develop. In Chamber of Secrets, it was all about schoolgirl crushes on Lockhart; and in Prisoner of Azkaban they were too busy arguing over cats, rats, and brooms.24 In this book it really gets serious. I could sit here and type up half of chapters twenty-two and twenty-three as evidence, but this will have to suffice:
But Ron was staring at Hermione as though suddenly seeing her in a whole new light.
“Hermione, Neville’s right—you are a girl…” 25
Fleur smiled at him [Ron]; Hermione scowled.26
As is clear from the two quotes above, Ron and Hermione start to develop true feelings for each other in this book (have mercy, Harry/Hermione shippers!!!). They are not the only ones. Harry’s feelings for Cho really become pronounced in this book (“Harry tried not to watch Cho and Cedric too much; it gave him a strong desire to kick something” 27). In addition, after taking somewhat of a backseat in Prisoner of Azkaban, Ginny is brought in again, and her crush on Harry is even more pronounced, as evidenced by this quote:
“I asked her [Cho] to go with me just now,” Harry said dully, “and she told me.”
Ginny had suddenly stopped smiling.28
Now we can address the chakra characteristic, “feel compassion.” That’s what the second Triwizard Tournament task is about. Ron and Hermione berate Harry for trying to save the other hostages, though the judges think this shows “moral fiber.” 29 Harry has a lot of compassion for others, which leads him to try to save the other hostages as well.
5. Book 5–Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Chakra Five: Sound, Creative identity, oriented to self-expression. This is the chakra located in the throat and is thus related to communication and creativity. Here we experience the world symbolically through vibration, such as the vibration of sound representing language.
This chakra mostly describes communication, sound, and self-expression. Most of these can be attributed to Harry’s anger issues. Harry lets out his anger by expressing himself in a verbal (and very loud) way, mostly to his friends (read Order of the Phoenix pages 65 and 66 – more than half of it is in caps lock). While many people found this annoying, I found it rather admirable that all he did was yell. He didn’t go on a murdering rampage (like some Dark Lords we know), and he didn’t even try to hex anyone. Let’s face it, Harry’s only human, and he’s been through more than we can imagine.
While Harry communicates his frustration at Ron and Hermione, Hermione tries to communicate her sympathy to Harry.30 Ron also tries to, but to a much lesser and much less successful extent than Hermione. Ron is too afraid of Harry’s temper, while Hermione desperately tries to curb it.
The other interesting part in this rather short description is the part about “creativity.” This book is where Hermione starts showing her creative nature. She comes up with the brilliant method of using murtlap essence to heal Harry’s hand.31 She then has another even more brilliant idea, in the same chapter, to form Dumbledore’s Army (“the DA”), the secret Defense Against the Dark Arts class.32 Neither Ron nor Harry had thought of it. If it weren’t for the DA, Harry would be in quite a fix. He wouldn’t know a bunch of spells (remember those spellbooks Sirius and Lupin got Harry for Christmas?33) and he wouldn’t have several very valuable allies. The most notable of these allies are Neville, Luna, and Ginny. And he owes it all to Hermione.
Then, Hermione has another brilliant idea. Putting a Protean Charm on Galleons to arrange DA meetings34 was pure brilliance – even Draco likes it enough to use it in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.35 If it weren’t for those Galleons, Umbridge would probably have caught on to the DA much sooner. It would have looked quite suspicious to suddenly see over two dozen people from three separate houses giving each other messages constantly.
And, of course, who can forget Harry’s interview with Rita Skeeter?36 That was one of Hermione’s most brilliant ideas to date. Organizing that interview was pure genius. She utilized her resources in a creative way; blackmailing Rita Skeeter and using Luna’s father’s magazine to achieve what she needed shows true creativity indeed.
But Hermione isn’t the only creative one. Fred and George’s creativity seems to know no bounds. From the Extendable Ears37 to the Skiving Snackboxes38 to the Headless Hats39 to the Weasley Wildfire Whiz-Bangs40 to the portable swamps,41 it seems their creativity is limitless. Even Professor Flitwick acknowledges that it was very impressive magic.42
6. Book 6–Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Chakra Six: Light, Archetypal identity, oriented to self-reflection. This chakra is known as the brow chakra or third eye center. It is related to the act of seeing, both physically and intuitively. As such it opens our psychic faculties and our understanding of archetypal levels. When healthy, it allows us to see clearly, in effect, “letting us see the big picture.”
This chakra perfectly represents what we see on the cover of Half-Blood Prince (US<span edition): Harry’s lessons with the Pensieve. This chakra is all about sight: “related to the act of seeing [...] letting us see the big picture.” Harry finally “sees” why Voldemort is the psycho murderer that he is. Harry also sees how Voldemort became that way. Most importantly of all, Harry sees what he has to do: destroy the Horcruxes. Harry finally sees the big picture: that Voldemort has four remaining Horcruxes left that he, Harry, must destroy, and then vanquish Voldemort himself.43
However, the Pensieve isn’t the only way Harry starts seeing things. Firstly, he finally sees the good in Malfoy. The first time is when he catches Malfoy crying.44 Indeed, this is quite different from the arrogant, emotionless Malfoy we’ve come to know and despise (forgive me, fangirls!!!). Towards the end, Harry even feels pity for Malfoy.45 This is a big change from less than two years previously, where we read,
Harry wouldn’t have let his worst enemy face those monsters [dragons] unprepared—well, perhaps Malfoy or Snape….46
Harry isn’t the only one who finally opens his eyes in Half-Blood Prince; the whole wizarding world does. Before the last few chapters of book five, Harry was “this deluded, attention-seeking person,” 47 and now he and Dumbledore are asked multiple times by Minister of Magic Rufus Scrimgeour, as well as Cornelius Fudge, if Harry will be the Ministry’s poster boy.48 The wizarding world has finally opened its eyes.
7. Book 7–Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Chakra Seven: Thought, Universal identity, oriented to self-knowledge. This is the crown chakra that relates to consciousness as pure awareness. It is our connection to the greater world beyond, to a timeless, spaceless place of all-knowing. When developed, this chakra brings us knowledge, wisdom, understanding, spiritual connection, and bliss.
Well, you say, these comparisons have been fun and all, but what’s the point? Well, we finally got to it. I was trying to prove that the comparisons between the chakras and the Harry Potter books are there. Now that I have (hopefully) convinced you, let’s get to our final destination. I believe we could use this chakra description to predict what happens in book seven.
Just hear me out. Most of this description of the seventh chakra seems to point to one thing: Harry is going to die!!!!! Believe me, I don’t want that to happen anymore than you do, and before I started this essay, I was a strong proponent of a happy ending. But I believe that this is the most plausible interpretation.
First, the part about “knowledge, wisdom, understanding” should be pretty obvious. Harry is going to find out a lot of stuff in Deathly Hallows. Don’t believe me? Go to the “What’s Left” area in Leaky Lounge.49 We know that he will at least find out something about Lily and Petunia. Most likely, he will learn something about Dumbledore, Aberforth, Snape, what are the Horcruxes, where are the Horcruxes, how to destroy Horcruxes, and a lot more stuff besides that. But anyway, back to Harry’s impending death.
The part that reveals this most clearly is “the greater world beyond.” Harry will, unfortunately, go beyond the Veil. What other “world beyond do we know” other than the one beyond the Veil?50 I don’t want to believe it any more than you, but this seems to be the most logical interpretation. But for the sake of argument, let’s look at other possible interpretations. Some of the brilliant title discussions on the Leaky Lounge51 mention that Hallows could refer to All Hallows’ Eve (Halloween), where the veil between the realm of the living and the dead is supposedly at its thinnest. So maybe Harry will only communicate with the “greater world beyond,” instead of actually winding up there.
This brings up another interesting theory, concerning the two-way mirror. Rowling implied that we haven’t seen the last of it.52 So maybe the mirror will turn out to be the link. Therefore, there is hope for Harry’s survival. However, this is a theory which relies on a bunch of other theories to be true. So I’m inclined to believe that this chakra does, in fact, imply Harry’s death. Also, let’s not forget that the title is Deathly Hallows. I’m afraid that we should expect the worst.
It may seem far-fetched that Rowling would use chakra information to convey her intentions, but I wouldn’t put it past her to hide clues in chakra descriptions – after all, I’ve read every essay here since the release of book five, and there wasn’t a single one about this. We know Rowling likes to hide clues in the most obscure places, and these chakras are pretty obscure.
So, to sum it all up, I believe that these chakras do have something to do with the Harry Potter books. And as much as I regret to say it, I conclude that Harry will die at the end. This is my essay debut, and I hope you guys liked it!
1. All chakra references from Sacred Centers, “Chakras.”
2. Rowling, Sorcerer’s Stone, 12.
3. Ibid., 276–84.
4. Ibid., 285–87.
5. Ibid., 299.
6. Ibid., 177.
7. Ibid., 207.
8. Ibid., 213.
9. Ibid., 75.
10. Ibid., Goblet of Fire, 339.
11. Anelli and Spartz, “TLC/MN interview Part Three.”
12. Rowling, Chamber of Secrets, 314.
13. Ibid., 195.
14. Ibid., 257.
15. Ibid., 36, 95.
16. Ibid., 238.
17. Ibid., Prisoner of Azkaban, 298–99.
18. Ibid., Sorcerer’s Stone, 183.
19. Ibid., Prisoner of Azkaban, 293.
20. Ibid., Sorcerer’s Stone, 287.
21. Ibid., Chamber of Secrets, 332–33
22. Ibid., 320.
23. Ibid., Prisoner of Azkaban 237, 241, 406, 412; Order of the Phoenix, 141.
24. Ibid., Prisoner of Azkaban, 252.
25. Ibid., Goblet of Fire, 400.
26. Ibid., 724.
27. Ibid., 430.
28. Ibid., 399.
29. Ibid., 507.
30. Ibid., Order of the Phoenix, 64–67, 222–23, 237.
31. Ibid., 324.
32. Ibid., 325.
33. Ibid., 501–2.
34. Ibid., 398.
35. Ibid., Half-Blood Prince, 589.
36. Ibid., Order of the Phoenix, 566.
37. Ibid., 68.
38. Ibid., 104.
39. Ibid., 540.
40. Ibid., 634.
41. Ibid., 676–77.
42. Ibid., 848.
43. Ibid., Half-Blood Prince, 651.
44. Ibid., 522.
45. Ibid., 640.
46. Ibid., Goblet of Fire, 341.
47. Ibid., Order of the Phoenix, 74.
48. Ibid., Half-Blood Prince, 357.
49. The Leaky Cauldron, “What’s Left?”
50. Rowling, Order of the Phoenix, 863.
51. Leaky Lounge, “Official Book Seven Title Discussion.”
52. Rowling, World Book Day Chat.
Anelli, Melissa and Emerson Spartz. “The Leaky Cauldron and Mugglenet Interview Joanne Kathleen Rowling, Part 3.” The Leaky Cauldron, 16 July 2005. /#static:tlcinterviews/jkrhbp3 (accessed 31 January 2007).
The Leaky Cauldron. “What’s Left?” /#static:whatsleft (accessed January 27, 2007).
Leaky Lounge. “Official Book Seven Title Discussion.” http://www.leakylounge.com/index.php?showtopic=37299&st=0 (accessed January 27, 2007).
Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. New York: Scholastic Press, Arthur A. Levine Books, 1999.
———. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. New York: Scholastic Press, Arthur A. Levine Books, 2000.
———. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. New York: Scholastic Press, Arthur A. Levine Books, 2005.
———. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. New York: Scholastic Press, Arthur A. Levine Books, 2003.
———. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. New York: Scholastic Press, Arthur A. Levine Books, 1999.
———. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. New York: Scholastic Press, Arthur A. Levine Books, 1998.
———. World Book Day Chat, 4 March 2004. Transcript, AccioQuote!, http://www.accio-quote.org/articles/2004/0304-wbd.htm (accessed 28 January 2007).
Sacred Centers. s.v. “Chakras.” http://www.sacredcenters.com/chakras.html (accessed 27 January 2007).